Thai-owned deli and cafe chain Dean & DeLuca has unveiled a new servery concept it says it plans to roll out globally from next year.
According to design website Dezeen, the company is moving away from its signature aesthetic to launch “a new style of fast-food outlet” based around a kitchen design by architect Ole Scheeren.
Called Stage, the concept imagines the kitchen and servery as a sort of theatre-in-the-round, where cookery is a performance and the staff is the cast.
It is anchored by one central object, Scheeren’s rectangular kitchen counter, where food is made and displayed on platforms at varying heights. Customers are meant to circulate around the centrally positioned counter to watch the “spectacle” and order when they desire.
“Stage is a concept to create a singular pristine object that celebrates food,” said Scheeren. “I wanted to showcase that really on a stage.”
“I wanted to elevate staff to not simply be mechanical makers but in a way actors that perform in a play – and in a way where they then join with their audience or the customer in that spectacle of making, offering and consuming.”
Dean & DeLuca is owned by the CEO of Pace Development, Thailand, Sorapoj Techakraisri who is reinvigorating the New York-founded brand as a cafe-based concept and rolling stores out across Asia and the Middle East with plans for further afield in the future.
Stage was unveiled at Design Miami 2016, where a prototype has been installed.
In place of Dean & DeLuca’s traditional design style with white subway tiles, grey-veined marble and metal shelving, Scheeren’s design is characterised by two horizontal slabs of mirrored stainless steel, one forming a roof and the other the counter.
Between the two, a topography-inspired servery made of layers of white Corian displays food at varying heights.
“My idea was to create food as a landscape, to create food as a topography, a system of peaks and valleys, a drama in itself,” said Scheeren when presenting Stage at a media preview at Design Miami.
More images and commentary can be seen here on Dezeen.